On the very first day of the game Women’s World Cup The first surprises and insights came in Australia and New Zealand. 90 minutes It takes a closer look at the teams capable of winning the title based on quality and provides analysis and ratings for the further course of the competition.
Ada Hegerberg, Caroline Graham Hansen and Crow Reid are just three of the many great players on the Norwegian women’s national team. Despite this, the Hedge Rice-coached side failed to even make it past the group stage, finishing third at last year’s European Championships in England.
In their first game of the World Cup, Norway fell far short of expectations and disappointed on many levels. The Scandinavians were beaten after the final whistle by a strong New Zealand side who fought for every ball. Hannah Wilkinson put the home side on course for a 1-0 lead early in the second half.
Although the game was very even in the first half, Norway’s problems were already evident. On the one hand, defenders found it difficult to consistently clear balls from their own penalty area and prevent fast counterattacks, and on the other hand, they created very few high-quality scoring chances. Although Hegerberg was able to provide some spark in the attacking game, he remained pale most of the time. Riding was unremarkable throughout the game – a stark contrast to his season’s performance with Chelsea.
Only Graham Hanson seemed to thrive in the second half. His wing runs and breakthroughs lead to some dangerous situations, but no goals. Frida Leonhardsen Mann also had a good chance in the second half. Moments later, Dua Hansen from Bayern Munich hit the crossbar with a long-range shot.
Forecast: The Norwegian team showed themselves to be more urgent in the duels and more accurate in the game. Due to this, the quality of the players seems to have affected the creativity that should actually exist in the team. As the tournament progresses, Norway’s playing style and approach will need to change to have a realistic chance of progressing. In the next group game against Switzerland, it could already come to a conclusion. Who knows, maybe New Zealand’s win could turn out to be an underdog story in Group A.
Australia might have thought the game against Ireland would be a little easier. The Matildas struggled for a long time in the game against the first-time World Cup participant and were surprised early on by their aggressiveness in the fight.
Additionally, it was announced just before kick-off that Australia’s star striker Sam Kerr would sit out not only the first game but also the second group game due to a calf injury. A blow to the Matildas who usually rely on goals from the record player.
The striker’s absence was felt in some situations against the girls in Green. Tony Gustavson’s side managed to get behind the Irish defense several times and put a cross in front of goal. However, a target player disappeared where Kerr usually lurks.
The Matildas dominated possession and long stretches in the opening game with long relay passes, however, they were rarely able to control the opposition defence. Because the Irish team proved to be a tougher bunch than expected: a well-organized defense and physical battles in the permitted range prevented the Australian goal for long periods. So it was no surprise that the winning goal came from a penalty. Hayley Raso dropped the ball into the box and Steph Gately put it into the net.
Forecast: The Australian team lacked a pass station at the heart of the attack, which could have created more chances. As the Matildas will be without Kerr for the next game, work on a solid interim solution must continue. Nigeria are a high-quality team who, unlike Ireland, will often want to play more, which is why more should come from Australia. In any case, the support of many viewers is guaranteed for the Matildas.
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